Jean Rankin

Professor, National Teaching Fellow - Advanced Higher Education

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Target collaborative organisations

My area of expertise is in Maternal, Child and Family and in the broader context of health and wellbeing.  In my early research career, my expertise was mainly in the quantitative type study eg randomised controlled trial of antenatal exercise during and following pregnancy.  In recent years my research work has become more focussed on mixed methods and qualitative studies to address the numerous exploratory and evaluative studies commissioned by the NHS funders.  Therefore my expertise now comfortably spans across the continuum of qualitative and quantitative paradigms.  Methodologies include phenomenology, grounded theory, participatory action research, case study, survey evaluation, mixed methods and RCTs.

I am currently involved in several studies including funding from NHS Education for Scotland to contribute to the Mental Health Framework for children and young adolescents, Scottish Government funding to provide evidence review for the updated Pathways of Care for Maternity Care in Scotland and Dunhill finding to support coaching for district nurses in relation to frailty in the community. Previous research funded has focussed on clinical leadership and workforce development.  All mainly related to the implementation of policy initiatives into everyday practice in the NHS and how this has impacted on the workforce, and outcomes for patients, carers and families. I have also been involved in a successful international interdisciplinary funded study in Malawi where the nutrients in the soil, crops were linked to the nutritional status of pregnant and postnatal women in villages in Malawi. 


Key topic areas of expertise: antenatal and postnatal psychological wellbeing, physical activity during pregnancy, breastfeeding peer support, clinical leadership in nursing, effective nursing and interdisciplinary teams, ‘early years’ team working, values and competency based interview skills in recruitment for the NHS workforce.

I have expertise in presenting at national and international conferences.  This has included the international psychological Society Conference, Berlin and Melbourne, World Nursing Conference, Singapore in 2015, World Health Conference, Istanbul 2015, International Confederation of Midwives Conference, 2005 Brisbane and 2009 Glasgow.  Conference presentations scheduled for 2016 include World Nursing Conference, Singapore, World Health Organisation Conference, Glasgow, European Public Health Conference, Denmark, Nurse Education Today Conference Cambridge and European Conference for Midwives, London.  Conference symposium scheduled for 2017 include the International Confederation of Midwives Conference, Toronto.

Currently, I have a diverse range of postgraduate research doctoral and MRES studies.  This includes international and interdisciplinary research.  At present, I am Lead Supervisor for 8 doctoral students and 2 MRES students and I am currently on 14 PGR supervision teams.   I have over 12 doctoral completions and I am an experienced PGR internal and external assessor including international doctoral studies. 


I have previously been involved in several streams of work covering a broad area of nursing, midwifery and within the wider context of health and wellbeing. This includes:

UWS and NHS Collaborations

UWS and NHS Lanarkshire

  • Best Possible Start £460,000: This project based on the Scottish Government initiative ‘Getting It Right for Every Child’ has been running now for four years and due to be completed by the end of 2016.  Research studies (all with ethical approval and R&D approval) have included:
  1. An initial learning needs analysis with health visitors, staff nurses, midwives, neonatal nurses and child protection staff with a two year follow up study.
  2. The Effectiveness of the Universal Pathway: A qualitative study.  This involved exploring the experiences of prospective and new parents into the midwives and health visitors' support for information giving, motivational interviewing to promote positive parenting, positive relationships, and positive lifestyle choices and behavioural change.  This also includes strength and asset based approaches to care and person-centred ness.
  3. Preconceptual care – this study is ongoing and involves a qualitative approach to gain viewpoints and experiences of prospective parents (healthy and with long term medical conditions) in relation to the information and care expected prior to pregnancy.


  • Leading Better Care (£1.2 million): This project is in line with the national initiative ‘Leading Better Care’ and has been ongoing now for four years and due to be completed by April 2017.  Research studies (all with ethical approval and R&D approval) have included:
  1. Values and Competency-based Interviews for selection and recruitment of NHS Workforce
  2. The supervisory role of the Senior Charge Nurses (initial study + follow up study)
  3. Community Nurse Development Framework


  • The Effectiveness of Patient Safety Collaborative in Acute Services (£30,000) 

UWS and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

This feasibility study was commissioned by NHS GGC as part of the Mental Health Strategy.

  • Engaging Vulnerable Adolescents in Research £29. 900). This study has recently been completed and is in the process of being written up for dissemination.

This work with adolescents links with the study grant awarded from the Carnegie Trust to go to the Adolescent Research Institute in Melbourne Australia.


Unfunded studies:

  • Rural Midwifery Education in Scotland and New Zealand: A comparative study
  1. Completed with 6 international publications and one book chapter.


Current research

 NES Mental Health Framework

Scottish Government Evidence Review for Pathways of Care in Maternity Care.

Dunhill - Coaching District Nurses for frailty in the community.

Desired research direction

Areas for future research focus includes further studies involving adolescence, mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan including the NHS workforce, physiological process related to pregnancy and reproduction (interdisciplinary), exploring the impact of UNICEF breastfeeding standards of education within everyday practice and work focussing on the ‘early years’ work in the NHS.

Target collaborative organisations

Marie Curie Funding opportunities for palliative care wellbeing, Carnegie grant for health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups in Scotland, funding to be sought for a range of potential studies.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

External positions

Adjunct Professor of Midwifery, Auckland University of Technology

1 Jun 201731 May 2012


  • L Education (General)
  • Midwifery
  • RT Nursing
  • Children


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Public Health Research and Science Conference 2021

    Bakhshi, A. (Participant), Luckose , G. (Speaker), Fultang, J. (Participant), Chinaka, U. (Participant), Ali, A. (Participant) & Rankin, J. (Participant)

    24 May 202127 May 2021

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference